The politics behind ‘natural disasters’ (Opinion, Page A20)

 Monday, 10 November 2014

The Straits Times

This was an article contribution by Professor Jonathan Rigg from the Department of Geography at NUS Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and Dr Katie Oven from Durham University. The authors noted that a hazard becomes a disaster because of the ways that social, political and the economic environments and processes make people vulnerable. While hazards are often framed as physical problems requiring technological solutions, they opined that disasters, however, require that we think politically about hazards. They added that we need to recognise that poor people’s multiple vulnerabilities are also reflected in their exposure to hazards; that there is a usually a keen logic to their living with risk; and that social injustice often underpins vulnerability in the first place.

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